Guidelines for Planning an Organizational Unit Structure

Administrative model

Design OU Structure based on:

Geographic -based



Structure of the organization

Business Accounting function- Research based Sales

Functions in the organization


Location for higher organizational units or domains

Structure of the organization for lower organizational units or domains

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Introduction The design of organizational units is based on the IT administrative model of an organization.

Guidelines Use the following guidelines to help you plan the organizational unit structure of an organization. The structure can be based on the:

■ Geographic location. If the administrative model is geographically distributed and if administrators are present at each location, organize the Active Directory structure by location.

■ Organization. If IT administration is department-based or division-based, design Active Directory based on the structure of the organization. Be sure to follow the administrative structure, rather than the organizational chart, when designing an organization-based Active Directory. The organizational chart may not map to the administrative needs of an organization.

■ Business functions. If the IT administration is decentralized, design the Active Directory structure based on the functions in the organization. Choose this approach only if the IT function is not based on location or organization. This structure is ideal—in fact, it is the only appropriate one—for small organizations that have job functions that span several departments.

■ Hybrid model. If it is a highly distributed organization with a centralized IT function and strong departmental or divisional separation, design the higher organizational units or domains by location, and the lower organizational unit or domain levels, by organization. Because the highest levels are based on location, this model is less likely to change, and therefore less likely to require a major effort during a reorganization.

Use the following flow chart as a decision tree for determining the appropriate organizational unit structure for an organization.

Organizational Unit Structure
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  • maria
    How to plan an OU structure in Active Directory?
    6 months ago

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